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IBM Redbooks | SAN - explaining the different ports

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SAN - explaining the different ports


Abstract

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Segment
Storage Area Networks (SAN)

This Tip discusses SAN - the different ports encountered. For related information about this topic, refer to the following IBM Redbooks publication: Designing and Optimizing an IBM Storage Area Network, SG24-6419-00
. Contents _ Ports In the various discussions, we will mention different kinds of Fibre Channel ports. It is, therefore, important to understand what is meant by these different types of ports. E_Port An E_Port is an expansion port. A port is designated an E_Port when it is used as an interswitch expansion port to connect to the E_Port of another switch, to build a larger switched fabric. These ports are found in Fibre Channel switched fabrics and are used to interconnect the individual switch or routing elements. They are not the source or destination of IUs, but instead function like the F_Ports and FL_Ports to relay the IUs from one switch or routing elements to another. E_Ports can only attach to other E_Ports. An Isolated E_Port is a port that is online but not operational between switches due to overlapping domain ID or nonidentical parameters. F_Port An F_Port is a fabric port that is not loop capable. Used to connect an N_Port to a switch. These ports are found in Fibre Channel switched fabrics. They are not the source or destination of IUs, but instead function only as a middle-man to relay the IUs from the sender to the receiver. F_Ports can only be attached to N_Ports. FL_Port An FL_Port is a fabric port that is loop capable. Used to connect NL_Ports to the switch in a loop configuration. These ports are just like the F_Ports described above, except that they connect to an FC-AL topology. FL_Ports can only attach to NL_Ports. G_Port A G_Port is a generic port that can operate as either an E_Port or an F_Port. A port is defined as a G_Port when it is not yet connected or has not yet assumed a specific function in the fabric. L_Port An L_Port is a loop capable fabric port or node. This is a basic port in a Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) topology. If an N_Port is operating on a loop it is referred to as an NL_Port. If a fabric port is on a loop it is known as an FL_Port. To draw the distinction, throughout this book we will always qualify L_Ports as either NL_Ports or FL_Ports.

Product
IBM TotalStorage SAN

Publish Date
27 August 2002

IBM Form Number


TIPS0037

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http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0037.html?Open

18.01.2006

IBM Redbooks | SAN - explaining the different ports

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N_Port N_Port is a node port that is not loop capable. Used to connect an equipment port to the fabric. These ports are found in Fibre Channel nodes, which are defined to be the source or destination of information units (IU). I/O devices and host systems interconnected in point-to-point or switched topologies use N_Ports for their connection. N_Ports can only attach to other N_Ports or to F_Ports. NL_Port An NL_Port is a node port that is loop capable. Used to connect an equipment port to the fabric in a loop configuration through an FL_Port. These ports are just like the N_Port described above, except that they connect to a Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) topology. NL_Ports can only attach to other NL_Ports or to FL_Ports. U_Port U_Port is a universal port. A generic switch port that can operate as either an E_Port, F_Port, or FL_Port. A port is defined as a U_Port when it is not connected or has not yet assumed a specific function in the fabric. In addition to these Fibre Channel port types, the following port types are only used in the INRANGE products. T_Port (INRANGE specific) A T_Port is an ISL port more commonly known as an E_Port. TL_Port (INRANGE specific) A TL_Port is a private to public bridging of switches or directors. In addition to these Fibre Channel port types, the following port type is used only in the McDATA products: B_Port (McDATA specific) A B_Port is a bridge port that provides fabric connectivity by attaching to the E_Port of a director. This B_Port connection forms an ISL through which a fabric device can communicate with a public loop device. . Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a customer responsibility and depends upon the customer's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the customers operational environment.
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http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0037.html?Open

18.01.2006